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Legends of Lost Nevada

From the Nevada Test Site and Area 51, To Desert Recluse’s and frontier heroes, Secrets that Have been protected for GEnerations of nevadans and far beyond, Nevada’s dark histories and mysteries are alive in the Sagebrush State.

cathedral gorge state park, legends of lost nevada, nevada blog, sydney martinez

The world has a complicated relationship with the Great Basin State. Nevada is one of the last wild places in the West, country and world—at least speaking in terms of uninhibited private use of public land—and yet, so few people know it or worse, want to know it. A desert as complex a place as the ocean beholds enough mystery surely not all of it can be true, even if it’s rooted in truth, right?

Oftentimes when folks can’t understand something, it’s human instinct to make up their own truths, or weave together a mismatched tale of legend and fact to create their own logic in order to make sense of it all. And in an enormous state as difficult to access and expertly experience as Nevada, it creates an easy environment for truth and fiction to mingle, and permanently.

Through the centuries, the Silver State has always been a remote wonderland that’s usually last on everyone’s list—everyone except the US government who purposely selected Nevada as the perfect place to blow up. The quest for Nevada’s unimaginable silver bounties came second fiddle to the California gold fields, and sandwiched in between two of some of the most famous states in the West, its lonesome conditions oftentimes make it last on everyone’s vacation wishlist too, at least beyond the Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas regions. A place born from legend and a state that’s reinvented itself to attract people more times than we can count just sort of fosters conspiracy. Well that, and the cleverly curious.

From multi-generational games of telephone surrounding the last big bonanza nobody could ever quite seem to locate, to people disappearing in the desert for better or worse, the nation’s HQ of quickie divorces and nuclear bombs, lasting and disappearing highway systems, ancient underground fossil water river systems, and far beyond, it’s an impalpable truth—Nevada really is a land of a thousand thrills. So many Nevada mysteries still remain, creating an unending urge to go just a little deeper into the backcountry, see what’s around that next curve in the road, and create our own first-person accounts of the legends that beckoned us over the state line, or have kept us right here in the Great Basin State. 

From the Great Basin’s dark histories and mysteries, to tales of Nevadans who defended their corner of Nevada because they saw something in it, I hope you’ll dig these Legends from Lost Nevada. As a well-researched modern day Nevada explorer with thousands of miles under the tires, I still can’t quite figure some of these stories (and locations) out. I’ll never stop trying.

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